Rural energy lights up 239 households of a remote village
September 2008; The 24 kilowatt micro-hydro project supported by the UNDP Rural Energy Development Programme has brought electricity to 239 households of remote Dandagaun village benefitting a total of 1534 people. Tamangs and Magars (indigenous peoples) make up the majority of the population in this village, 65 kms away from Dhulikhel- the district headquarter.
The villagers in Dandagaun can only survive for six months with their own farm production and have to go to the nearby cities such as Banepa, Kathmandu and Hetauda to earn their living for the rest of the year.
73 years old Devimaya Jimba says that the project has been a very good example of community contribution, commitment and ownership. She further says that her village has become a source of inspiration for other villages. Now, thanks to electricity, the men and women can start their own business (mills, electrical shops), children can study for more hours at night, adult literacy classes have started and most of the houses in the village now have television!
For the electrification (wiring and other required materials) of their houses, the community collected Rs. 2,000 from each household. Besides the subsidy of Rs. 20,40,000 from the District Development Committee, the Village Development Committee and the REDP/Alternative Energy Promotion Centre (AEPC), each household also made a voluntary labour contribution equivalent to Rs. 11,000.00.
The community managed to hire a helicopter to transport the construction materials from Kathmandu at the cost of Rs. 1, 80,000. Each household collected Rs. 600 and the remaining amount of Rs. 36,600 was contributed by the Village Development Committee to meet the cost of the helicopter.
The villagers appreciate the technical and financial support made by the District Development Committee, the District Energy and Environment Section supported by the Government of Nepal, UNDP and the World Bank. In the second phase of the Rural Energy Development Programme in 2003, the World Bank came into a partnership to expand the model from the first phase 15 districts to an additional 10, making a total of 25 districts. The partnership has further continued in the third phase (REDP-III) launched in September 2007covering an additional 15 districts, reaching out to a total of 40 districts.